Staff Blog

This is a space where Foundation staff share their thoughts and musings on giving and community:

Making A Racket

Posted by: Erin Morrison on 6/13/2017

I am not your average tennis player. I don’t know much about racquet strings, I don’t own a pair of true tennis shoes, I don’t remember the last full match I played, and I definitely don’t own a skirt (at least not one appropriate for the courts). But regardless of my experience with tennis, I still feel its impact every day through my work with the Addison Community Athletics Foundation (ACAF).

ACAF has been on a mission to provide opportunities for people to learn, play, and stay active through tennis in the greater Addison County area. Since starting our outreach efforts a little over a year ago, we have been able to bring tennis to over 1,300 people. We have worked with several elementary and middle schools, youth organizations, and now have kicked off numerous programs at Middlebury Indoor Tennis (MIT). These family events, free afterschool tennis programs, and youth tennis tournaments focus on bridging gaps and eliminating barriers for youth and families to play.

We are seeing a community of tennis develop here, and we’re learning the importance of a community-minded approach. Within this last year, it has been wonderful to connect the dots from each program, person, or organization that has enabled more families to play this great sport. Along with the help of some star instructors, we have also had the support of local high school coaches and the coaching staff from Middlebury College. This community approach consists of schools, local parks and recreation, volunteers, parents, and many others committed to providing fun, high quality, and accessible opportunities to our community.

We have the momentum to continue this wonderful work, and we’re now working to better refine our programs and services. This last year has taught us to be open to new ideas and keep our feet on the ground. In the coming year, we will continue to grow a vibrant tennis culture.

Any time we end a lesson, event, or match and the equipment is put away, I’m reminded that this work isn’t just about tennis. It’s about what starts to transpire within all of us when we step out onto the courts or observe from the sidelines. It’s about the friendships, the community, and how we grow as individuals from our experience with tennis. I feel lucky to work with such a great organization because I get to give back and enrich people’s lives along with many others who feel the same.

I hope to see you sometime on the courts! 
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